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The Assembly/George Geftakys/Elizabeth Esther


viii
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I thought I would start a new thread dedicated to the cult that was titled The Assembly. It originated in California in the 1970's and most of it fell apart in 2003. George and Betty Geftakys began it, and it was pretty much a family run religion, although they elevated a lot of men up into leadership, and called them Leading Brothers. Churches began to pop up all over the world - from Ohama, Nebraska, to 3 in Canada, and even as far as several in China. 

Elizabeth Esther, who wrote 'Girl at the End of the World', is a Geftakys granddaughter. 

This link is a good summary on how everything fell apart towards the end: http://www.geftakysassembly.com/Articles/IntroGeftakys/IntroDisbanding.htm

I thought this was still an important discussion, because even though it has been 16 years since the Assembly technically ended, a lot of these toxic men have either started their own churches, or have joined other churches that have slowly become a new version of the Assembly. Is anyone familiar with this particular cult? 

As someone who was raised in this cult, I'm hopeful to find anyone else that has had interactions with the Assembly.

Edited by viii
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I read the book, but that’s about it. Thanks for the additional reading material. Scary to think those guys are out there forming new churches or taking over other ones.

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When I left the Assembly, I was 17 years old, and basically what happened was that the 90% of the people attending the Assembly picked up and moved over to this tiny little church. Slowly over the years, they pushed out all the original members of the church, until it was basically the Assembly 2.0 

They completely changed the way the church ran, and put it back towards everything that the Assembly did, and stood for. It took me until July 2017 to realize what was slowly happening and to realize that while I didn't have a say as a child, I'm an adult now, and I am allowed to walk away from situations that are hurtful to me. The Assembly didn't end because all the leaders in charge woke up and realized that their teachings were harmful. They just picked up and moved over to different buildings - putting on a different outfit but underneath, it's the same ugliness. 

Ugh, the stories I could. 

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@viii, thanks for putting this on our radar.  

I wasn't aware of the Assembly until I saw your post, so I went over to the Rick Alan Ross Cult Education Institute, and they have quite a database of articles  about the Assembly for perusal.  From what I read, it sounds like Assembly members were kept in the dark about where their money was going.  Would you agree?

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Thanks, @viii -- I had read Elizabeth Esther's blog & other articles some years ago but didn't know too much about her or her family's background.

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16 hours ago, Elegant Mess said:

@viii, thanks for putting this on our radar.  

I wasn't aware of the Assembly until I saw your post, so I went over to the Rick Alan Ross Cult Education Institute, and they have quite a database of articles  about the Assembly for perusal.  From what I read, it sounds like Assembly members were kept in the dark about where their money was going.  Would you agree?

100% kept in the dark. You were expected to tithe heavily, and trust that the leadership was putting the money to good use. We didn't live in California, our church was up in Canada, and so we blindly believed George for a lot of things. Majority of our money was sent to him with the belief that he was using it for God's will. 

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  • 1 month later...

I was raised in the cult and unfortunately remember it all too well. I remember hating the Geftaky's with every fiber of my being because even though I was a child nothing ever felt right, everything screamed scam to me. Even though the cult as we knew it ended in 2003 I have just started therapy to deal with the issues from it. I am amazed at how many ex-Assembly members still refuse to acknowledge the abuse whether they were abused or they did the abusing.

Who started their own churches or has kept the cult going?

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  • 11 months later...
1 hour ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

@viii, were they any especially odd  or unique beliefs/rules ithe rule Assembly?

The Assembly is very fundie. A lot of what the Duggars believe is similar to what we were taught. The main belief that stands out to me is the rapture/end of the world. This was preached so heavily. I didn’t go to university because I figured why spend the years/money when Jesus was returning right away. Huge regret. 

Women were heavily controlled. We had to wear shorts with our bathing suits. Women had to wear lace head coverings during church. Children (1 year old - 8ish) were put on mats on the floor during church where they were expected to sit quietly. Children were mat trained where candies and toys were lined around the mat and if the child stepped off the mat or reached past the edge, their hand was slapped until they learned to sit quietly. Spanking was encouraged. Huge spanking culture. Every summer the teenagers would go to California for 5 weeks where we had church every day and did chores around our billet houses. A lot of men in the upper leagues used this as a chance to arrange marriages. 

We had so much church. Sunday from 9-5, Wednesday from 7-10, Thursday from 7-10, one Friday a month from 7-12 (the other Fridays were mandatory youth group) and then Saturday morning from 9-12. 

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